Category “99 problems”

In / Balance

In / Balance

Here’s the eponymous track by San Scout, which is gloomy enough for 2017. It’s kind of danceable. But I’m never going to dance again – the way I danced with you, anyway.

The gross gross state of American politics seems particularly unbalanced right now. Gross gross gross.

In the midst of all this, I keep hearing negative things about Gwyneth Paltrow’s, you know, whatever-thing, “Goop”. And I think “WHO CARES!!!!” Who has the negative energy left to SPARE to hate on Gwyneth?? People obviously need SOMETHING to make them feel good right now. At least Gwyneth is promoting reasonably truthful concepts, like:

1. something is wrong with you, and
2. you have the power to change it

If you want to try a jade vagina egg to fix your life – go for it. The ability to try new things in pursuit of a solution is much more important than whether the solution actually fixes you. The pursuit of happiness is a worthwhile endeavor.


In pursuit of my own happiness (always), I watched Get Out. I really enjoyed it. One of the songs in the movie is “Redbone” by Donald Glover and when that song came on, I felt so happy to be seeing the movie and so impressed by it. I had this weird sense of PRIDE. Why pride? I’m not really sure. I had absolutely zero to do with the making of the song or the making of the movie. Maybe a better word is fellowship. I had a strong sense of fellowship encompassing the fictional black hero of the movie, the African-American struggle for equality, and the creatives who made the movie (including Jordan Peele and Donald Glover). I mean, it’s a pretty awesome film that makes you feel all those feels at once.

For me, this was a great example of the uplifting power of art. I’ve written a few blog posts lately that have roughly the same main idea… the Trump administration = bad/sad, art = good/happy. But seeing Get Out made me realize the stuff I’ve been hinting at is actually absolutely true. The American political landscape is beyond bleak right now. It is horrific and tragic. This is having a massive impact on my mental landscape. But when I see a strong creative work, I feel inspired to keep going. The fellowship of the creative truth-tellers is strong and real, and you don’t have to meet the artists in person (or share their race or ethnic background) to be sustained by their work.

Eyelash in the Eye

Eyelash in the Eye

2017 is going to be the year that the 99 problems make it to zine form. I can feel it. It’s happening. Probably.

True Lies

True Lies

I watched this little video on my phone, and the whole time I was thinking, “Man! Paul Reiser is so articulate! And political! I am extremely impressed!”

For me, the highlight of the video was this bit from Salman Rushdie:

We are the guardians of the culture.
The culture is under attack.
And we’re going to lose a lot of those battles.

But we have to … as artists, we have to subscribe to joy and beauty and value and the things we care about.
And we have to make those things.
We can’t have an America that doesn’t have those things.


The other day, I was struck by the title of Suzanne Sundfør’s song “Meditations in an Emergency.” Google tells me that the title is based on a 1957 poem by Frank O’Hara. It’s pretty bleak, but it all seems appropriate.


But hey. Maybe all the Democrats should just give up and start being assholes too?

I felt such seething anger towards Trump voters when I read this article that it felt kinda good. I can see how you can get a bit addicted to rage. When I read the phrase “Gerontocracy” I was like OH MY GOD YES. Then I read this epic, epic burn by Drew Magary, author of The Hike (a book I just read and enjoyed!) and I felt even BETTER.

I guess those things might not be the kind of value Salman Rushdie is talking about.


This is some world-class bullshit


That was my favorite sign from Portland’s pro-women, pro-human, anti-Trump march last weekend. It was a very plain, small sign, just scribbled in some magic marker:


“This is some world-class bullshit”

PERFECT. Yes. This, my friend, is some world-class fucking bullshit. Ha.


Other wonderful slogans:

Be Bigger than Bigotry (sign held by a ten-year-old)
Fuck you, Cheeto Voldemort (yes)
We Shall Overcomb (this was the message on MY sign, but I read the slogan on the internet, so I can’t take credit)
I’m Not Gay as in Happy, I’m Queer as in Fuck You (awesome)


also, mad props to the infinity symbol sign that had nipples painted on. You get the Herb Lubalin award (nah let’s make this the Ellen Raskin award instead).

What else:

  -Not My President tees spotted around Portland.

-I just signed up for Slate Plus.Yes, I’m paying for news. It’s time to start giving money to journalists, America. In 2017, every time I click on a news link, and I run into a paywall… I’m… GASP… PAYING FOR A SUBSCRIPTION.

-Let’s end on some Big Country… to play us out. I guess maybe I’ve never posted about Stuart Adamson and Big Country before. Well, I just love Big Country. I won’t go into how much.

Orange, White, and Blue

Orange, White, and Blue

The Absolutely Huge and Incredible Injustice in the World (Ron Padgett)

… credit and thanks to Austin Kleon’s newsletter, where I keep learning about incredible poems. Poetry is the way! Also, music videos!